This past Sunday the Islamic Republic of Iran went ahead and tested a medium rand ballistic missile prompting quick responses from the new administration in the United States. President Trump tweeted the following “Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE for firing a ballistic missile. Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the U.S. made with them!” In essence the administration has created an early red line that may cause problems down the road if the Iranians go ahead with more missile test. The administration has cited the nuclear deal multiple times stating that the Iranians were in strict violation of the accord, however, the language in the treaty does not specifically state that the actions taken by Iran have violated any agreement.
Furthermore, the Iranians have tested a similar missile seven months ago and did not receive any such threats of economic sanctions. The reason for the quite behavior by the Obama administration went in line with his policy towards the Middle East, one that was of a hand off approach. The previous administration attempted to avoid any conflict in the region but was still dragged into it by the different conflicts through out the region. However, it now appears that we are reverting back to a policy of demonizing the Islamic Republic of Iran.
However, Iran has been in a missiles program before the Islamic Revolution even took place. As noted in a paper Iran’s Ballistic Program “Iran’s pursuit of ballistic missiles pre-dates the Islamic revolution. Ironically, the shah teamed with Israel to develop a short-range system after Washington denied his request for Lance missiles.” During this time the pursuit of a nuclear weapon was being pursued but after the revolution the program had collapsed.
At the time that the development of the missile program and nuclear planning was taken place, the Shah was the leader of Iran a close ally to the west. Once the revolution changed hands to an ant-western politick caused the quick readjustment of Iran having such weapons. Then in 2017 Iran has complied with the statue of the resolution where they go to 5,060 first generation centrifuges and enriching uranium to 3.7% below the point of where it is possible to use on a nuclear warhead. So why can Iran not test their weapons. A couple of months ago the United States tested bomb run with dummy nuclear warheads in the Nevada dessert.
Another saber rattling that has emerged from the new administration came from National Security Advisor Michael Flynn when he said ““failed to respond adequately to Tehran’s malign actions — including weapons transfers, support for terrorism and other violations of international norms.” Ironically Iran working in cooperation with Russia and the Syrian Army has been able to push ISIS forces out territory that was held by the daesh for a couple of years.
The United States on the other hand has played a proxy game in Syria. One example can be the debacle created by the CIA and the Defense Department. Both government agencies were supporting two separate groups with funds and equipment, similar to the mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the 80’s. Instead of focusing on Assad forces or even ISIS the two groups began fighting amongst on another illustrating the vacuum that can emerge with a non-stable government. Many will point to the fact that Iran has support Hezbollah however, during the Bush administration, they help support the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) to fight against Hamas.
This recent display of the missile test is pure saber rattling. If we can test two fake nuclear bombs why cant another country test their defense capabilities. If Iran was pursuing a nuclear weapon they would have reached that capability at this point and time. If North Korea has developed a weapon with nuclear capability Iran would be able to do the same. Furthermore, Iran knows an attack on Israel will not be supported by the other Arab nations and will result in an American response a move Iran is not willing to make. The knee jerk reaction and saber rattling can truly lead to a point of no return as some would say.